Drawhive the labour-saving beehive
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Hive Management

Sooner or later, it would be necessary to carry out some form of manipulation to prevent loss of a swarm. All the usual methods which don’t require the hive to be moved can be used. Methods of swarm control are covered on many beekeeping web sites, so the information on this site will be pertinent to the Drawhive.

The page on swarm control does contain important information rarely covered  properly elsewhere.
Picture of British National 12 X 14 Drawhive in use

To safeguard the queen when the Drawhive is open, a tray in the form of a shallow box is needed. This is deep enough to support the end of the inner chamber. If made the same size as the hive, it can be stored under a hive roof.


Levering with a hive tool will easily open the hive. After inspection, the chamber is pushed most of the way in and the tray removed, checking for the queen. Any bees hanging round the gaps can then be cleared with a little smoke and the chamber pushed home.


picture of Langstroth Drawhive in use

Smearing with petroleum jelly, the areas where the two parts of the Drawhive touch, , makes it easier to open and this should be done a couple of times a year.


Drawhives can be worked as a double brood box. The tray needs packing up on a spare body to open the top chamber.

Inner chambers can be removed from the outer cases, so it is possible to reverse double boxes, without removing supers.


The whole point of the Drawhive though, is to reduce lifting, so it seems best to use a large enough single box, or a hive management system that splits the brood to avoid swarming.

The Drawhive enables a wide variety of hive management methods to be used with the minimum of effort, particularly where a second upper brood chamber is used, as the hive does not need to be dismantled to check on the bees at the bottom.

                                                                                       © Michael Vesty 2007 all rights reserved.

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